DOST Project SPARTA to Produce 30K Data-Savvy ‘Spartans’

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(SDN) — Around 2,500 years ago, in 480 BC, 300 Spartans and their allies fought and died in the Battle of Thermopylae.

The Spartan warriors, defending the narrow Thermopylae pass, fought a massively numerous Persian invasion force on a mission to steamroll and conquer Greece.

They the Spartans all perished except one whom the Spartans’ King Leonidas sent back to Sparta.

Sparta was one of the Greek kingdoms known for the military prowess of its people, particularly its warriors: uncompromising and highly disciplined in battle.

Now in the Age of Digital, the period of the 4th Industrial Revolution, which is also known as Industry 4.0, it seems the Spartan spirit is alive through Project SPARTA.

Well, that’s at least from the point of view of SDN — Science and Digital News, as reckoned from the choice of the project’s title SPARTA, a scholarship initiative under the partnership of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP).

Images: Project SPARTA’s six pathways of learning data science and analytics:

DOST, Project SPARTA, data-savvy 'Spartans', 30K, AAP

DOST, Project SPARTA, data-savvy 'Spartans', 30K, AAP

“SPARTA” in this context means Smarter Philippines through Data Analytics Research and Development (R&D), Training and Adoption.

DOST and DAP’s Spartans will be trained to slay the gaps separating demand and supply of data experts to help organizations, enterprise businesses, government agencies cope with digital transformation by leveraging the availability from within and without.

The expected data-savvy Spartans after their training will not be against a massive physical enemy but against tons of data available to organizations where they will end up.

DOST and DAP have two other partners, the newly-minted Analytics Association of the Philippines (AAP), and CourseBank.

On February 24 the quadruple partners launched the initiative, which is designed to address the lack of experts in the different fields or disciplines of data science and analytics.

Project SPARTA has six pathways for learning, namely, Data Associate, Data Steward, Data Engineer, Data Scientist, Data Analyst, and Analytics Manager.

DAP President Engelbert C. Caronan, Jr. said in an interview the SPARTA “is a response to an actual need.”

His message to Filipinos who want to up their skills through learning data science and analytics is call to embrace the Project SPARTA and its objectives.

“Our call is that this is a very nice program under the DOST and DAP together with AAP that will give us capability along the lines of information technology (IT). Hopefully, (Filipinos) will embrace this. It is a scholarship. It is free.”
He noted that organizations want to leverage their data. “The problem is they don’t have the competency. They don’t have the capacity.”
Caronan said that with Project SPARTA, the aim is to train 30,000 data science experts in three years time as a measure to address the gaps in the needs of organizations for data experts.
He was alluding to the great demand for data experts against the lack of supply.
DOST, Project SPARTA, data-savvy 'Spartans', 30K, AAP
AAP. Monchito ‘Mon’ Ibrahim of Analytics Association of the Philippines (AAP)

The DAP president sees organizations’ workplace, environment and business thriving in the Industry 4.0 given the availability of experts on data extraction and interpretation and leveraging it to bring customer experience and profitability to the next level.

“So, DAP partnered with DOST to create the programs for Project SPARTA,” he said.

The project is being funded with Php52 million for three years by the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, Emerging Technology Research  and Development (PCIEERD), the Innovation Council of the DOST.

DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña said data science touches almost every aspect of life.

“(There is) so much information that can be obtained from many sources so that we can have better decision-making, policy-setting, guideline-setting. Even at the local government level, you can come up with legislation whether for land use, for the environment, or health, and many others,” he said.

“So we are trying to promote this to the government. As I mentioned, the ease of doing business is very important and this can be facilitated through data science, data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI).

“Even in the non-technology fields like the labor department, the justice department, and health department you can come up with better decision-making, policy-making if we analyze data, especially today when so much data is available. (SDN)

Featured image: Signing of deal between DOST and DAP for Project SPARTA.

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